Old: Superman Radio Interview

April 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm (interviews, margie tsang)

Kenneth Ma was interviewed by Richard and Margie on their talk show Superman. It was on the 26th of April, SP was airing for the 2nd week. They started off discussing about the series where Kenneth played Tang Keng Chung. When he received the script for SP he was quite scared since it’s his first time in a real comedy and having such a large part to play. Although SP is quite successful in HK, when he goes out, still not many people recognizes him, probably due to the fact that his appearance is quite different from how it is in SP, this allows him to keep his personal life and he is quite content with that. But of course when they go to functions and have the whole costume on, then people will recognize him. He’s been the industry for about 5 years now and this role in SP would probably be the biggest so far. Another series where he has a big part in would be DP, where he portrayed a somewhat evil role.

Richard then asked him whether he has a nickname people call him at work, Kenneth replied that there are many, almost everybody calls him something different, but he doesn’t have a specific nickname. Richard suggests that he should use his character in SP and make up a nickname for himself, so that people can know him better and remember him easier.

The average rating for SP 1st week was 31 points, which is not bad at all. Many critics like this series and others do not. But he never had any big hope when his series are aired. The reason he joined TVB was because he liked to do drama, therefore he really enjoys the process of filming, so as long as he can work he’s happy. Richard says “Don’t be so superficial! Everyone that enters the entertainment industry wants have some fame deep inside. Everyone needs to have a goal. Kenneth admits that he does want to make more money, but he really likes the life of some seniors such as Hui Siu Hung; he has a lot of jobs but when he goes out he doesn’t have to care about his appearance, he is not the idol type. Margie says “But you’re different! You’re tall and handsome!” Kenneth points out that there are many handsome male actors out there, many more handsome than him. Richard tells Kenneth that he should set his goal a bit higher; being an actor, of course you’ll want to be lead. Kenneth defends that it really depends on the character, if it’s challenging or not.

After he graduated, he worked for about 1 year before joining TVB acting class. He was working at an architecture company, but after some time he find that it’s kind of boring and it really has nothing to do with what he studied in university. They just hired him by chance, so everyday they take the graphics and go to meetings and stuff. Since he’s not specialized in this domain, he doesn’t have much interest in it. He wants to change jobs; he basically wants to find a job that is more in his field of study, which was mechanical engineering. However, he sent more than 70 CVs out, but not one company gave him a reply. The main reason was because he graduated in 98, and during that period HK was going through an economic crisis. He found applications to TVB acting class from TVB weekly and sent it out, it turned out that it was the only reply he got from all the jobs he applied to. He always liked watching movies/TV but never thought about becoming an actor. Only in the last 2 years in university he participated in the drama club and realized that it’t kind of fun, but still haven’t thought that it would be his career, it’s more of an interest. However his personality is quite shy and don’t like to draw attention to himself, so you would rarely find his face on magazines and newspapers. He still hasn’t got use to socializing with the reporters. Richard comments that Kenneth is very down to earth, he doesn’t feel that he is very famous, he sees that this is just another step up. Kenneth adds that it’s still unsure whether if SP is a success, we’ll still have to see.

Kenneth is the youngest in the family; he has 2 older twin sisters, so he is quite spoiled within the family. His mom spoils him the most and the father plays a stricter role. When he was small, whatever he wants to buy, he just has to pout a little and his mom would get it for him. For example, if his sisters and him is allow to buy 1 bag of candy each, but usually when he can’t decide between 2 varieties, he would end up getting both. Luckily his sisters is not envious, his twin sisters are 2 years older than him, they look exactly the same, other people have trouble telling them apart, but of course he has to problem after all these years. Since they are only 2 years apart, he says that it’s really hard for his mom to raise them when they were all so young. Although his sisters doesn’t seem to be envious of him, but he was very against the idea of having a little brother or sister, so maybe for that reason, his mom didn’t have another child.

Margie asked him if he dated in high school, Kenneth replies that he went to an all boys school and the all girl school, which used to be next door, moved away. He never dated in high school; he only likes to play soccer. He picked his school because it has two private soccer fields within the school, and that is very rare in HK. He really loves soccer; he started playing in grade 3 and is still playing now, his point of going to school was to play soccer. He only dated once, which was one year before he entered university. When he was in high school, most of his friends didn’t date, they all just play soccer, they don’t even discuss about girls. He joined the school soccer team in high school, and because he’s tall, he usually plays midfield. Now when he plays soccer with his friends he usually plays midfield too, but when he represents the company he would play forward. He never put bets when he watches soccer, but still finds it very exciting. He is against gambling with soccer because it would lead to “false play?

Richard then comments that Kenneth is very pure, he doesn’t gamble, smoke or drink. Kenneth says that he doesn’t think he is very pure, he doesn’t like to smoke or drink because he doesn’t like the taste of them. The first time he tried cigarettes was from his father; he was about 10, he sees his father smoking one day so he asks if he can try, so his dad lets him try, he took a big puff like how he sees on television, then he started tearing like crazy, after that he knows that cigarettes tastes very bad.

The then spent some time talking about soccer. Kenneth is not part of the “HK celebrity soccer team” (he does not consider himself as a celebrity), however he does represent TVB in soccer competitions. He mentioned that Frankie use to be in the TVB soccer team, but now he plays more for the HK celebrity team.

Kenneth says that he learnt to play the guitar before, but not for long, about half a year. He stopped because he thinks he doesn’t he has the talent to play, he only started because he likes to listen to Wong Ka Kwui (I think it’s the lead for Beyond). Margie asked him if he’s the kind of person that just can’t stop moving, Kenneth replies that it depends, he can stay home for a couple days in a row; he only goes out if he has a goal.

Margie asked him if he has any especially good friends within the industry, Kenneth replies that he is the closest with a couple of his classmates from TVB acting class, many whom haven’t found fame yet and is still waiting for an opportunity. He mentioned a couple such as Yip Wai, Ho Chi Cheung, Wong Siu Ping (which doesn’t ring a bell to the hosts). Kenneth says that only a few people from his year of training class are still in the industry. His year was the 14th, and it lasted 6 months, but the real learning really starts when you come out to work.

Kenneth says that the filming process of SP was very fun, from entering the industry till now, he feels that so far this serie is the series where everyone got along the best, with the best karma, everyone gave their best effort to make the serie good. In addition, there are a lot of experienced seniors, such as Mimi Chu and Wayne Lai. Whenever they’re around, there’t a lot of fun, Mimi Chu always makes a lot of things for them to eat. He had a great time and everyone got along really well, so work passes by really quickly for him and he misses it now that it’t over. He also says that although Roger is the lead, he is very nice; he is nothing like a big shot, he really leads everyone and influences everyone to do well. He really thanks Tommy for giving him so many opportunities. He was an extra for about 3 and half years, his first big character would be Roy from Triumphs in the Skies. During those 3 years, he actually never thought of giving up, he says that it actually really isn’t a long time, he is considered to be very lucky, many people he know are still waiting after 7-8 years, so he feels that his career developed very quick and smoothly. He feels his wait was necessary; it takes time to know everyone before you can work well together, experience is very important. He also would like to thank Jessie the director for the first part of SP. She and Roger would give a lot of opinion on what to do and how to make things better. Roger would often remind him of careless things like the entrance from last time so that the scene would flow natually, he really thinks that Roger is a great actor to work with. Two actors really need to work together and match to make something good, and Kenneth has worked with an opponent before where he/she refused to collaborate together.

He feels that he is really lucky because there are about 3-4 series where he works with Hui Siu Hung. He is very strict and sometimes what he says could be harsh, but Kenneth can take it because he feels that he’s right. However he would always take his feelings into consideration and only come to tell him alone and asks him “Do you know what you just did?” What he says is often right, and makes him reflect on how he performed so that he can do better in the next shot. Sometimes he needs a good scold from him to make him remember his mistakes. Again he emphasizes that experience is the key, and he still has a long way to go. In the future, Kenneth says that he wants to try more variety of roles, one type of roles he would like to avoid is the kind that’s very plain, like once he played a role that is very polite, clean, nice, with a suit and everything, the character has no faults, it turned out to be very boring.

Now the two hosts decided to force Kenneth to reveal more about his love life. He is not dating now, his last date was 10 years ago, which was also his first girlfriend. After he finished high school in HK, his family immigrated to Vancouver. So he went to college in Vancouver where he met his girlfriend, she is Chinese, it lasted about 1 year. Not after long, she left to another province to study, so they were separated. He says that he does not know how to get along with girls, he doesn’t really understand them., but he was a bit sad when they broke up. After she left to study, there was this time when she came back to visit, and it was he who broke it off cause he feels that it’t really hard to keep up a long distance relationship. At that time he feels that it’t no big deal and it isn’t hard to find another, she was very pretty and has a good personality, later he realized that he actually couldn’t find another like her. It was mainly because they were still young and didn’t really make the effort to keep a long distance relationship last. A why he couldn’t find another is because there are no girls studying Mechanical Engineering, and he doesn’t take part in any school activities other than the drama club, but the girls there are mostly taken or just that they got to know each other too well to develop any special feelings. He finds that he has high standards for himself; he feels that if a guy dates a girl, he should be able to take very good care of her, but up till now he still doesn’t feel that he has the ability to do this. At this point Richard questions him about his sexual orientation, Kenneth assures us that his sure that he is straight.

He says that his family never gives him pressure to marry. Roger once told him that he doesn’t follow his heart enough; he is too logical, which is a kind of disadvantage when it comes to acting; he needs more emotional/love experience, so he urges him to find a girlfriend. Although he only dated once, but there is more than once where he secretly liked someone, but Richard emphasizes that is not enough and doesn’t help him when he’s filming emotional scenes, it’s hard to find the feeling of love when you’re acting if you only dated once. Kenneth assured them that he is in the process of looking for a girlfriend, but so far no luck. He doesn’t have many criterions when looking for his other half; they just have to get along. When he was young, of course guys would like pretty girls, with big eyes and a tall nose, but now being more mature, appearance doesn’t mean as much anymore. He says sometimes when he works with some female artists, at first he’ll feel, hey! This one is pretty good, but after when he gets to know them more, the feeling would be different. Richard insists that being and actor you need to get to make more contacts with the opposite sex, he urges the girls who like Kenneth to take the lead, and then later dump him to allow him feel some pain. Margie jokes to leave this job to her; she’ll get him fixed good, once he’s really serious about the relationship, then she’ll dump him like he’s never been dumped before! It’s all to help him to become a better actor.

His idols include, Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung (Chiu Wai), Sean Lau (Ching Wan) and many others. He says he likes to watch Sean because although he is not very handsome, but the feeling is very natural when watching him. As for female artistes he likes to watch Margie (of course), Yung Mei Ling, Chan Yuk Lin, Ng Sin Lin, he basically likes to watch those with personality, he doesn’t like the ones who are only has the looks but no acting skills. Whenever he watches his own performances he still thinks it’s somewhat weird. Margie asks Kenneth what does he hope for later in life, Kenneth says that he admires Sean’s living style, he is known to be a good quality actor and has many jobs, but he doesn’t have to worry about his image and avoid dating and marrying. To have both career and a family would be the best. Kenneth does not strive to be an idol, the wants to be an actor but at the same time leading a simple life, he doesn’t want his career to affect his personal life. Here they thanked Kenneth and wishes him future success.

*Credits: Kenworld

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